Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 29, 2013

County jobless rate hits double-digits

The Register-News

---- — The county unemployment rate jumped up into the double-digits in February, coming in at 10.2 percent.

The February unemployment rate is also up from January, which came in at 9.6 percent; and is up from February 2012, which posted at 9.4 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate came in at 10.1 percent, higher than the national unemployment rate of 8.5 percent in February. The state added 12,400 jobs in February.

“This is the counter-intuitive part of an economic recovery,” stated Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell. “If job creation is picking up, how can unemployment be picking up as well?” Job growth gives workers who previously gave up their job search hope that they, too, will be hired. As such, they re-energize their work search, jump back into the labor force and push up the unemployment rate.”

The county unemployment rates throughout the state were released Thursday, and reflected higher unemployment in surrounding counties to Jefferson as well.

“The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment,” information from IDES states. “A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.”

For those counties which border Jefferson County, Franklin continues to see some of the highest unemployment rates in the state, coming in at 14.1 percent in February, up from 13.7 in January, and up from 12 percent in February 2012.

Coming in just under Franklin County is Marion County, which charted a 13.6 percent unemployment rate for February, up slightly from January, which was at 13.4 percent, and up almost 2 percentage points from February 2012, when the rate was 11.8 percent.

Wayne County had a 10.9 percent unemployment rate in February, up from 10.3 percent in January and up from 9.7 percent for a year ago.

Hamilton County and Jefferson County were both at 10.2 percent unemployment in February, with Hamilton County coming up from 9.7 percent in January and up from 8.9 percent in February 2012.

Washington County boasted an 8.4 percent unemployment rate in February, up slightly from 8.4 percent in January and up from 7.7 percent in February 2012.